Anyone who loves to dine out might think that getting to do just that and get paid for it is the perfect job. Imagine getting to sample various dishes from various eateries day in and day out without having to spend your own money – it surely seems like living the dream.
However, restaurant critics do more than just eat. They’re pretty much professional eaters so they don’t just sample and savor the dishes that they dig into. Each plate means work for them, so if you really think about it, it might not exactly be a job that will suit everyone.
If you’re dreaming of becoming a restaurant critic because you feel like these pros are living the life, read our rundown of the things that comes with the job that the public needs to know about. Afterward, you decide whether this line of work is still the perfect path for you.
1. Restaurant critics are not just eaters, they’re storytellers.
Being a restaurant critic isn’t just about eating even if it’s a huge part of the job. Half of it is producing a good article and review of the places they visited and dishes they sampled. And like any other writing gig, it’s not simple. Aside from capturing the reading audience, this field also requires a wide food vocabulary and a very visual description of the dishes and the experiences that come with sampling it. It’s not an easy job, really, even if our favorite critics make it seem as such.
2. The tab isn’t unlimited.
Being a restaurant critic doesn’t mean that you can eat just about anywhere all the time. No matter how much you love the food at Morton’s Steakhouse, you just can’t keep eating there on your employer’s money. It also doesn’t give you the opportunity to just eat wherever you want to for free. Most of the time, you have a budget to stick to so you really can’t go all and have a feast every time you go out.
Sure, there are times when you can treat your friends for a meal but that’s not always the case. What’s always the case is that you have a quota to meet when you’re getting paid to review restaurants.
3. There’s always the risk of gaining weight and the diseases that come with having weight issues.
With all that eating and writing, there’s a very good chance that you’ll gain weight. As it’s not common for employers to provide a fitness budget, you’re pretty much on your own when trying to curb the weight gain.
It’s going to be very easy to gain 40 to 50 lbs within a couple of months if you don’t work out regularly. If you’re at risk of the ailments that come with obesity, this job can also speed up their maturity.
4. Dining out means work.
Dining out, writing, and researching will be the three primary things you’ll do as a restaurant critic. So if you love dining out as a leisurely activity, it might soon turn into a major chore if you get this job. Some critics resent this part, as even when you’re just out for dinner with loved ones or friends, you’ll still keep on taking notes about everything.
5. There’s going to be a lot of hate that will come your way.
If you’re good at your job, you’re sure to get a lot of hate. The restaurateurs and chefs that got negative reviews will surely hate your guts. The fans of the restaurants that you gave negative reviews will very likely slander you in their own ways. Even your friends and acquaintances will hate you for having such a wonderful gig.
6. You might need to be anonymous if you want some peace of mind.
A certain degree of fame comes with being a writer since you are putting out content. However, if you’re a restaurant critic, you might want to stay anonymous to keep your sanity. If everyone knows who you are, getting hate will be easier. Sometimes it can even get very specific that it might feel like a personal attack.
Getting harrassed is also a common experience for a lot of folks in this profession. Some restaurants might stop at nothing for you to give them a positive review.
Your credibility will also be questioned very heavily if you happened to have some ties to certain entrepreneurs and establishments. So if you want to have a quiet professional life, it might be better to stay under the radar.
7. The questions for restaurant recommendations and food feedback will never stop.
Friends, family, and new acquaintances will always come to you for restaurant recommendations and they will always have an opinion after trying the places you suggested. If you’re invited to meals, you’ll also be asked to review their cooking. This is the very thing that feels nightmarish for some food critics.